2012-09-18 21:08:24 -
Creator of SasaAfrica Receives Grand Prize of $50,000 Plus Best Buy Mentorship
MINNEAPOLIS (Sept. 18, 2012) - Today, Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) is rewarding $100,000
in cash prizes to the winners of the Best Buy College Innovator Fund - a
national search to find, mentor and advance the next big ideas in the areas of
technology, sustainability, education or a related field. Launched in July, Best
Buy received original submissions ranging from a glove that functions like a
wireless keyboard to a jacket that uses body heat to charge mobile devices.
The grand prize winner, SasaAfrica, won based on quality of video, overall
presentation, marketability and innovativeness. SasaAfrica is an e-commerce
platform for the developing world that connects offline vendors in the craft
sector to online consumers using a simple mobile
phone. While studying
sustainable local material sources for economic development in Kenya, Ella
Peinovich discovered that women artisans had the desire and skills to
participate in the global marketplace, but lacked the tools and resources to
advance to this level of commerce. As the grand prize winner, SasaAfrica will
receive a $50,000* cash prize plus a mentorship opportunity with Best Buy
"It was inspiring to view the submissions for the Best Buy College Innovator
Fund. It helped us understand what today's entrepreneurs have developed and are
developing. All the ideas were truly unique," said Stephen Gillett, President,
Best Buy Digital, Global Marketing and Strategy. "Through the Best Buy College
Innovator Fund, we hope to spark a continued effort and support for innovative
thinking among the next generation and encourage individuals to always strive
for the next big idea of our time."
Additional winners, include:
* Spawnd: a rewards and charity system that allows user to accumulate points
for playing video games (submitted by: Bellal Labanieh). Spawnd also won the
Fan Favorite receiving more than 1,200 votes. Spawnd will receive a total of
$30,000 as a runner-up and Fan Favorite.
* Typing Glove - Gauntlet Keyboard: a one-hand glove device that functions as
a wireless keyboard (submitted by: Jiake LiuTyp). Gauntlet Keyboard will
receive $20,000 as a runner-up.
A panel of judges narrowed the search to 10 finalists from which they selected
the grand prize and runner up winners. The judging panel included:
- Stephen Gillett, president, Best Buy Digital, Global Marketing and Strategy
- Tim Westergren, founder and chief strategy officer for Pandora
- Jessica Matthews, co-creator of Soccket
- Julia Silverman, co-creator of Soccket
- Meredith Perry, founder of uBeam
"As a fellow entrepreneur, it was exciting to see the ideas of my generation
entered into the Best Buy College Innovator Fund," said Meredith Perry, founder
of uBeam. "We often hear about the economic challenges and tough times, so it's
motivating to see fresh ideas are still emerging. Programs like Best Buy's
College Innovator Fund are important because they provide access to the funds
needed to get these ideas off the ground."
For more information on the Best Buy College Innovator Fund, please visit
www.bestbuy.com or apps.facebook.com/collegeinnovatorfund
*All winners will receive a cash prize plus additional funds to cover taxes.
About Best Buy Co., Inc.
Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) is a leading multi-channel global retailer and
developer of technology products and services. Every day our employees -
167,000 strong - are committed to helping deliver the technology solutions that
enable easy access to people, knowledge, ideas and fun. We are keenly aware of
our role and impact on the world, and we are committed to developing and
implementing business strategies that bring sustainable technology solutions to
our consumers and communities. For additional information about Best Buy, visit
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Source: Best Buy PR via Thomson Reuters ONE